Strike Debt’s project called “Rolling Jubilee” has managed to purchase and eliminate $4 million dollars in unpaid private student loan debt from student lenders at Corinthian Colleges.
A total of 3,000 Corinthian College students were notified that at least one of their loans had been forgiven and they would not need to worry about paying it back.
The group of economic activists running the show, calling themselves Strike Debt, formed out of the Occupy Wall Street movement three years ago. The group started out by working on how to tackle the growing debt problem for low- and middle-income people.
Their solution to the problem is to buy the original debt at its usual deep discount and then, as opposed to going after the debtors, simply canceling it.
According to the Rolling Jubilee website:
“The Rolling Jubilee intervenes by buying debt, keeping it out of the hands of collectors, and then abolishing it. We’re going into this market not to make a profit but to help each other out and highlight how the predatory debt system affects our families and communities.”
So far, as of Sept 20, the group has abolished a total of $18,591,435.98 of debt.
In an attempt to help clear student debt, Strike Debt aimed to raise fifty thousand dollars, however, it managed to raise more than several hundred thousand dollars (with high-profile supporters raising awareness of their cause). The organizers used their funds to help eliminate private student debt.
Strike Debt focused on Corinthian Colleges, a company that owns and operates Everest College and other for-profit colleges across the US. Corinthian Colleges has hundreds of lawsuits against it for engaging in illegal practices.
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:
“Corinthian lured tens of thousands of students to take out private loans to cover expensive tuition costs by advertising bogus job prospects and career services.”
“Corinthian then used illegal debt collection practices to strong-arm students into paying back those loans while still in school.”